WORTHING man Ted King has chalked up an impressive achievement – he has become one of very few people to still be playing bowls at the age of 100.
Ted, of Shirley Drive, thinks he may be one of just two people to be playing the sport competitively as a centenarian.
And, Ted, who turned 100 on April 7, actually credits the sport with helping him reach his milestone.
He said: “I thoroughly enjoy playing bowls, I don’t think I would have reached 100 years old without it.”
Ted has been playing bowls at Worthing Indoor Bowls Club, based at Field Place, for 25 years, and is often selected to play in competitive matches.
He found himself taking up bowls after he broke his achilles tendon while playing tennis at West Worthing Tennis Club.
He needed a new sport to play and since then bowls has become a large part of his life, especially after the death of his wife 17 years ago.
Ted said: “It has been an enormous help to me as I was on my own. Socialising and having a drink and a meal here has made an enormous difference to my life.”
Sport has always played a big part of Ted’s life. When he was a young man he played football for Wolves Juniors in Wolverhampton and was approached by West Brom with a view to play for them.
However, his budding football career was short lived after it his father told him to go and get a ‘proper job’ instead.
Don Nice, 69, the bowls club manager, said: “Ted is a remarkable man.
“If you want fitness and long life, Ted must be an inspiration to anyone thinking about taking up the wonderful game of bowls.”
A number of dignitaries attended an event on Sunday, April 12, to mark the occasion and to celebrate Ted’s birthday including Ken Woodcock, the president of Sussex County Bowling Association, Gordon Leaman, the president of Sussex County Indoor Bowls Association, and Worthing mayor Vic Walker.
Mr Walker said: “It was absolutely amazing, a real delight. I had difficulty seeing which one he was, when I found out it was hard to believe he was 100, he was standing so upright and so full of happiness.”